Age of Unreason II
Well, sure got some interesting comments on my “Age of Unreason” post. So I am going to address them, well, at least the ones that deserve a reply. I deliberately omitted the authors because this isn’t personal. Comments are in italics, spelling errors corrected:
Been awhile since my last post… As always Doug the person defining the rules wins the match. Ancient astronauts? Earth only 7 k years old? Please… Absolute stupidity. How about the ‘Karen Silkwood’ conspiracy? Valid? Or the holocaust– Germans were solid fact checkers, and even calculated the lifespan of each fire-brick in each oven used to dispose of human remains. When one adds up the number of firebricks actually used, its pretty obvious that 10 million bodies couldn’t have been disposed of… A lot of bodies? Yes absolutely, but not the numbers universally agreed as true and irreproachable. Don’t get me wrong- the Nazi Regime was one of the darkest stains on humanity, but compared to Stalin or Chairman Mao– they were pikers!
Well, the holocaust was certainly muddied by Stalin and others for propaganda purposes even before the war was over. I’m not going to go into the details of why I (and virtually all historians) look askance at holocaust denial, there’s plenty on the web for people to look at. The question I would ask is this, why then have none of the people charged with holocaust era crimes claimed “It didn’t happen?” I might do a dedicated post on the holocaust and holocaust denial some day, especially since some new information has come to light recently. I might look also into Karen Silkwood someday, I have no opinion currently.
I think you have to look at any of these “conspiracy” theories with an open mind. History is defined by the conquering force. If Hitler would have took over, I doubt there would be any mention of the Holocaust. As for the ancient astronauts, the history channel has a really informative series regarding this conspiracy, worth watching if you are curious. The moon landing, well I guess we will find out if the Americans where there if the Chinese or Russians get there in the next decade.And the young earth creation. Well I think way to many geologists and archaeologists would have way to many examples of older artifacts and rock samples to prove that conspiracy wrong. At any rate it is a great post Doug. I try to keep an open mind, then I realize that we as humans are hardwired to chose, either right or wrong.
I look at all theories with an open mind. As for Hitler hiding the holocaust, Mao and Stalin won … yet were unable to hide their crimes. In the past with far more limited travel and communication, it was most certainly possible for winners to rewrite history. Increasingly in the twentieth century historians have such a wealth of sources, and global communication and travel are so prevalent, that rewriting history has become far more difficult. Captive populations like North Korea might be fooled, brainwashed populations might be propagandized into believing nonsense, but historians are much harder to fool these days, especially on a global scale. On a related note, “Fatherland” is an interesting movie with just that as a premise, Hitler won and concealed the holocaust.
So, somewhat related.. are we to just ‘take the governments word’ and believe Bin Laden was captured and thrown in the sea? Or is it ‘OK’ to have another view, in light of who is telling us to ‘believe it’ ? Just asking.
I have always maintained that everything governments say is suspect, a government’s statement has zero intrinsic prohibitive value. It is frankly kind of annoying that I have been repeatedly accused of blindly believing what the government says, simply because I register disbelief at someone’s theory. Because I say I find the 9/11 Truther’s theory or any other theory unconvincing does not mean that I believe the government’s version of events. If that’s not clear enough, I’ll spell it out with shorter easier to understand words next time, because it’s a very simple concept. Sheesh.
As mentioned earlier – history is defined by the winners and text books are re-written continuously. Reality is relative.
• J. Edgar Hoover hides the existence of the mafia.
• Operation Mockingbird
So how much is a belief in “conspiracies” and how much is the willingness to admit we have been repeatedly lied to by media and government so it may be best to keep an open mind.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
I am about half-way through “The Creature from Jekyll Island” – a historical look at the Federal Reserve written from a “conspiracy” perspective.If we agree that alchemists and illusionists exist – then we can ask what is it they want us to see (or not see) and why is it important that we see it (or not see it)? The “Expando Earth” theory is interesting – but is it considered a conspiracy?
No, history books are relative, reality is what actually happened. I am perfectly aware that much of what we were taught as history in the USA is a lie, and other countries to a greater and lesser extent are the same. Because I express disbelief in a theory does not mean I have a closed mind, it means I examined the evidence presented and currently find it unconvincing. Again, a simple concept that I shouldn’t have to repeat.
As for the Expanding Earth Theory, I am perfectly happy to accept the scientific consensus that it is not a viable theory. At least it’s a real theory, some papers were published on it. As for the claim that scientists are afraid of a theory because it upsets so many apple carts, what a load of horsecrap. Scientists have repeatedly throughout history accepted applecart upsetting theories when the evidence in support of them became conclusive. The Big Bang Theory, Plate Tectonics, and Relativity being three excellent recent examples. Frankly, when someone claims that science refuses to look at their theory, they might as well hang a sign around their neck that says “I am a crackpot.” Prove your scientific case, don’t claim there is a conspiracy against you.
And that’s that. I’m glad I didn’t blog about anything sensitive or taboo, that would really get me skewered. I apologize for being a little snarky in some of my replies, but I think I made a good case why I was so inclined. Next, maybe a nice safe uncontroversial post about atheism.
(The above image is in the Public Domain, and may be reproduced freely. This particular WW2 submarine was indeed involved in some highly mysterious activity that to this day has never been explained. Conspiracies happen, sometimes they get exposed, sometimes they don’t, not arguing that point. It’s kind of a cool story so I will blog on it, and it’s why I am not identifying the submarine at this point. Yes, I know, tech savvy readers can no doubt identify the image and the submarine within minutes, if not seconds. Please don’t spoil it for those who want to wait for the blog post on same.)